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La Liga wrap: Sociedad thrash Valencia

Real Sociedad have strengthened their hold on fourth position in La Liga with a 4-2 thumping of Valencia after a frantic finish.

Sociedad moved 3-1 ahead of Valencia when Imanol Agirretxe struck in the 87th minute but the visitors hit back three minutes later through Jonas.

Agirretxe completed a brace in stoppage time, however, to wrap up victory for the Basque hosts, which took them five points clear of fifth-placed Malaga and sixth-placed Valencia with five rounds remaining.

Sunday’s clash was effectively a head-to-head battle for fourth spot for a berth in the qualifying stage of the UEFA Champions League and Valencia struck the first blow, when Roberto Soldado headed in Aly Cissokho’s cross in the 25th minute.

But an impressive volley 10 minutes later from Inigo Martinez ensured Sociedad were level at half-time at the Estadio Municipal de Anoeta.

Gonzalo Castro’s in-swinging cross found Martinez at the back post and the 21-year-old central defender side-footed the ball into the top corner.

Castro put Sociedad in front in the 73rd minute when he scored on a fast-break, while Agirretxe extended the home side’s lead 14 minutes later when he tapped in Xabi Prieto’s cross.

Jonas boosted Valencia’s chances of a comeback in the 90th minute when he headed home the loose ball, following a save from Sociedad goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

But the visitors were finished off in almost the last play of the match when Agirretxe got in behind Valencia’s defence and then delicately chipped goalkeeper Diego Alves to complete the two-goal victory.

Malaga had earlier moved ahead of Valencia with a 2-1 triumph over Getafe thanks to goals from Roque Santa Cruz and Weligton either side of the break, while Real Valladolid were held to a 1-1 draw by Sevilla.

Mon 29 April, 2013
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